Melvin Orellana of Rome, Georgia, was sentenced in Nevada this week to 18 months in prison for participating in an identity theft conspiracy.
Orellanawas a computer support employee for a company that provided tax software to return preparation businesses throughout the United States. King Isaac Umoren operated Universal Tax Services (UTS), a Las Vegas-based tax preparation firm that used the tax software from Orellana’s company. From approximately May 2016 through Nov. 2017, Orellana conspired with Umoren to steal and transfer taxpayer and personal identifying information from the tax software business. Umoren sought this taxpayer information to falsely inflate UTS’s client base in an effort to fraudulently sell UTS to an unsuspecting buyer. In exchange for the stolen taxpayer data, Umoren agreed to pay Orellana $20,000 after UTS was sold. In Aug. 2017, Orellana provided to Umoren taxpayer data for approximately 12,000 taxpayers whose returns were prepared by businesses using the tax software. In Nov. 2017, Umoren used this taxpayer data to fraudulently sell UTS for $6.7 million.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon for the U.S. District Court of Nevada ordered Orellana to serve three years of supervised release.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada made the announcement.
IRS Criminal-Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Sarah A. Kiewlicz and Patrick Burns of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.